Sex Offender Bill

10/30/2005

One of South Dakota’s Senators plans to introduce a bill to help crack
down on sex offenders.  Some legislators believe stricter laws can help
save lives.

In 2003, Dru Sjodin, a University of North Dakota Student, disappeared
outside a Grand Forks mall. A convicted sex offender is accused of
murdering her.

In May, 9 year old Shasta Groene and her brother Dylan disappeared from
their home in Idaho.  Another convicted sex offender is charged with
kidnapping and murder in the deaths of 4 people, including Shasta’s
bother Dylan. South Dakota leaders are hoping to prevent tragic stories
like these.

South Dakota Senator Gene Abdallah says “it seems to be a epidemic around
the country.”

8 year old Jessica DeLaTorre of Sioux Falls was kidnapped, raped, and
murdered in April. Murray Jones admitted to her murder, and is now
serving 3 consecutive life sentences.  Because of cases like these
legislators are working on a bill to keep children safe from sex crimes.

The proposed bill would require anyone convicted of molestation or rape
of a child 12 years and younger to serve a minimum sentence of 25 years
in the state penitentiary.

If passed, the law would also require level three convicted sex offenders
to wear a global positioning system, or GPS, ankle bracelet.

Abdallah says “I just feel that, they’re not tough enough, they’re not
strong enough, you know what price do you put on an 8 year old girls
life.”

Abdallah plans to introduce the bill in next year’s session.  If passed
the law could take effect as early as July 1st, next year.  Abdallah says
he expects it’ll pass easily.

“Now I don’t expect 100% support, there’s always different reasons for
why they don’t, I anticipate when we get done and ready to introduce this
bill, we’ll get wide support, bi-partisan support.”

If this bill passes, it would be one of the most restrictive laws in
KELOLAND.  Other states have joined the national sex offender registry,
but South Dakota is not yet part of that.

© 2005 KELO-TV

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